Dictionary Challenge Weeks 34-36: Lexical Synchronicity & Dick Whips

For six weeks I have been unable to read myself out of the remaining deficit. I have 50 pages to go before I am back at par and back on track to actually reading the whole Behemoth in one year’s time.

Which, by the way, is a deadline of March 16th, 2017.

It feels like, all of a sudden, that’s not very far off. I wouldn’t be lying if I told you I wished I was already on that 1815th page. But, I suppose, that is how things that take so much time and effort go. I’ve always been a destination person. I know that corny saying “It’s about the journey, not the destination” is true, but damn I have a hard time really living it. Every time I finish a challenge, a project, or even a book, I’m left with this small pocket of sadness; and yet, while I know this is coming, I can’t help but wish it were already here.

The danger with this type of thinking is that you’re always looking forward and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Because you’re always wanting what’s next, what’s to come, and you forget to appreciate the moment, the right here and right now. When this is all said and done, an entire year of my life will have passed. Not an insignificant amount of time, is it? I have done many things in addition to reading the dictionary… but I have also neglected a great many things as well. And this is where my stubbornness kicks in. I’m not much of a quitter. It’s not easy for me to walk away from things. If I say I’m going to do something, it feels like I don’t have a choice – I have to do it. So while I have thought about throwing in the towel many times, moving on, and focusing on new projects, my relationship, and my physical health… I am still here with my ever-present dictionary sidekick, watching the pages dwindle and March 16th approach.

As of late, I have been able to retain a better balance of life than a few months ago when I was spending upwards of two hours a day reading the Behemoth. So that’s been nice.

Anyways.

Let’s get to what you’re actually here for. The letter “P” is the third most word heavy letter of the alphabet, comprising a total of 147 pages of the dictionary. I have been reading words that begin with the letter “P” for over 3 weeks. So I think it’s only fair that when we jump into the words we start with pee. Yeah, yeah, everyone knows it means urinate. But the interesting fact of the day is… why? Well let me impart some dictionary knowledge upon you. We say we “gotta go pee” because pee is the written form of the letter “p” and “p” is the first letter of the word “piss.” So now you know.

My favourite word of the last three weeks is palooka which is what you’d call an oaf or a lout. Sorry… I don’t have any extra dictionary knowledge to drop on you about why for this one, other than that the origin is unknown. But doesn’t it sound fun? I think I might start using this as an endearing term for my sweetie. It has that kind of ring to it, doesn’t it? “I love you my sweet palooka.” I mean, if you can call your significant other a pookie, babe, big daddy, cuddle muffin, doodle bug, lambkins, shmoopsie poo – I could go on forever, here – I think palooka fits right in.

In a close second place is the word pendragon. This word describes a medieval beast that blasted ink from it’s nostrils.

Pendragon

Okay, fine. That was a lie. It’s actually a wordsmith who slays the competition with bad ass word configurations…. Sorry – that was a lie too. I really just want it to mean that. I love the word, but the definition is lame. It’s actually (I swear this is the truth this time) an ancient British or Welsh prince, often as a title. So, I mean, if I had the title of pendragon I’d feel pretty awesome, but I don’t and neither does anyone else… unless we all started to use it as in my second made up definition. Thoughts? Anyone? We could force it to mean a bad ass wordsmith – an ink breathing curator of infinite written talent!… Spitting out inky word-blots of sheer glory! Whose with me!? Can I get a robust “hell yeah!”?

Guess I’m all alone on that one. Ah, well, c’est la vie.

So for the sake of transparency, I’ll admit to you that I wrote everything up until this paragraph yesterday. This is important, because today something happened.

Let me tell you all about the geekiest moment of excitement I had today. This story really begins many a day ago when I read the word post-prandial in the dictionary and thought it was great because I didn’t know that there was a word for something “happening immediately after a meal.” I was also a touch disappointed because I would probably never use it since it really isn’t that common of a word. So I took a moment to appreciate it and then I moved on. Now fast forward to today. I was on the infallible internet doing my research on a product for work… and right there, in one review among hundreds, was the sentence:

… you can announce to your family, “That was vegan, you know,” as they’re laying down their forks in postprandial bliss.

Boomshakalaka! That’s lexical synchronicity right there. Was I just wondering why the hell I’m reading all these words, most of which I’ll never use/need/see again in my life? Was I getting a little down about this challenge? A little impatient? A little unappreciative? Maybe. But not anymore! You never know when some unsuspecting word like post-prandial is going to just jump up and bite ya. Or something like that.

And it’s those small moments of brilliance that act like a whisper in my ear, “keep going.”

Before I wind things up, I have a few other words that deserve mention. Like panleukopenia, which is a word workout for your mouth and means “feline distemper.” I really just included it because I will never use it again as it is the equivalent of running a marathon when you could just do a 5K and say your little critter has the “cat plague.” I don’t plan on ever running a marathon.

Another thing I have learned lately is that a pound cake is a rich cake originally made with a pound each of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs. Another thing they could have called it was a heart attack. Seriously. That’s crazy.

And last, but certainly not least, I unfortunately have to make mention of one of the dictionary’s more messed up words. Okay, not so much the dictionary’s word but the actual thing itself. Now, I have been guilty of talking like a poser and uttering horrible things like, “what’s up in the hizzle? Let’s grab a bizzle.”

I just got really embarrassed typing that out. But it’s true. I’ve said both those lines… many times. I’m so ashamed.

Anyways. It’s this sloppy way of talking I sometimes engage in with my friends when we’re being dorks. However, I found a word in the Behemoth that sounds just like that: pizzle. At first glance it sounds funny, right? If my friends and I were to use it, it would be for something like, “I’m going to the bathroom for a pizzle.” That, however, is not the correct usage. At all. It’s actually “the penis of an animal, especially a bull, formerly used as a whip.”

So even though I thought a pound cake was ridiculous, this is straight up bizarre. Who uses a dick as a whip?? And on that horrible imagery, I’m going to leave you. Tune in next time to see where else the dictionary will take me…. If you think your ready for more strange and sometime wonderful and sometimes really, really horrible words.

Update: I googled pizzle. Apparently it’s a popular dog treat. Also, I don’t recommend googling it.

Week 34-36 Stats

Starting Word: Pacific dogwood                Ending Word: precipitate

Total Pages: 1220/1815                                Ahead/Behind: -50

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One thought on “Dictionary Challenge Weeks 34-36: Lexical Synchronicity & Dick Whips

  1. Congratulations, even if you don’t finish on time. I read chunks of the dictionary, but not the whole thing in one extended go.
    King Arthur, of the Round Table was a Welshman, and was Arthur Pendragon.
    Post-prandial came to English from the French word, ‘prendre’, which means ‘to take’. (You’ve taken a meal.) Did your Dictionary give you that etymology? Ain’t words fun?? 😆

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